Staying At Your Best Throughout A Difficult Divorce

Karen BigmanCoaching, Divorce Process


As a Divorce Coach, I work with my clients to help them get grounded and move forward through divorce. It’s a really tough job for my clients, particularly when their spouse is incredible difficult. The ‘deal’ they’re being offered is typically deemed unfair or unrealistic. Couple that with coping with children and financial strains and it’s not the greatest recipe for being at ones best.

When all you do is put one foot in front of the other each day, the thought of remaining calm and accepting a difficult predicament is overwhelming. You tend to lose sight of what makes you great. A coach’s job is to help their client move forward. To that end we work on changing perspective and reframing. The more you can look at difficult times from a different lense, the easier it becomes to get through it.

This morning I worked with a new aspiring Divorce Coach on an exercise called ‘The Best Self’. It’s a simple exercise that can really help shift your mindset. My student reminded me about the value of the exercise by telling me how it gave her a chance to really reflect and think about who her ‘best self’ is. The exercise below is adapted directly from the CDC® Certified Divorce Coaching handbook.

  1. Think about 4 – 5 of people who have had a positive influence on you. Write down each name and identify 2 – 3 attributes that you admire in them.
  2. When you are being your best self with your friends and family, what attributes are they seeing in you? Write these down.
  3. Think about yourself and being your best self, what attributes are you displaying when you are fully alive and fully engaged? Write these down. Feel free to borrow attributes from the lists above as well.
  4. When you are not being your best self, what kind of behaviors might you notice as red flags?
    • Justification of myself. Common justifications include:
      • I am better than that/than you
      • I am less than others
      • I deserve more than what I’m getting
      • I have to do it all
      • I must be seen a certain way
    • Blaming others
      • Criticizing
      • Horribilizing or Catastrophizing
      • Being right-making the other wrong
      • Being a victim
      • Exaggerating differences

By identifying where you can shine and recognizing when you might be exhibiting less than desirable behavior, you can learn to focus on using your positive traits to keep you centered.

Karen Bigman is a CDC® Certified Divorce Coach working in the New York, Tri-State area. For more information on how a Divorce Coach can help you, visit:

Some more ideas on How to Deal With a Difficult Spouse during Divorce.